The last couple of days I've been exhausted. It could be from many things.
1. I did a lot of yard work in the heat this week = heat overload + body tiredness.
2. Allergies. I have environmental allergies and working outdoors while everything is blooming is sure to affect me.
3. Pandemic Sheltering-at-Home Overwhelm.
It's the third one I want to talk about here. I'm a woman of faith and try to enact my faith. Prayer is a default. But I have another default - I'm an empath. I didn't need to take any tests to know it, I just know myself enough to say I am one.
One article describes an empath this way (which I've personalized):
I feel deeply. I tune in to the feelings of people around me--even people I don't know. That means, my husband and son who are home right now but also friends on Facebook and strangers I read about.
I am a sensitive person. I absorb the world’s joys and stresses like an “emotional sponge.” So many times I feel off. My son said, "Don't project your anxiety on others." That's comforting in a strange way. He meant he is not feeling anxious, so me assuming he might be isn't helpful. I need to quit making assumptions and not default to worry.
Empaths bring a lot of heart and care to the world and feel things deeply.
The term empath comes from empathy, which is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of your own perspective.
During these shelter-at-home days, my own life changed only slightly. But my empath nature is quick to feel for people out of work or who have lost their business and income.
As an empath, I feel problems so deeply, I want to do something about them. But this can result in disappointment and compassion fatigue.
Due to wanting to keep busy, I read Twitter, watch CNN and read COVID-19 updates. I even participate on some Facebook groups and have found people are getting very nasty. Their nastiness bothers me. Empaths don't like conflict.
I decided today some of my fatigue is information overload combined with being too empathetic to the negatives of the world. I'm in overwhelm.
Another Point - Too Close
The article points out empaths find frequent close contact difficult, which can make romantic relationships challenging. We want to connect and develop lasting partnerships. But we don't want to lose ourselves in the relationship from spending too much time together.
This has been a recent problem as my husband is working from home. Never before have we spent this much time together. It's a recipe for cabin fever and infighting. It was great years ago when he had to travel every few weeks.
God has given us unique gifts and it is important to consult him on what bothers us. He will help us set boundaries.
Are you struggling to keep your emotions and mental health in balance during this Stay-at-Home time?
I am moderating a Facebook Group called Shelter-at-Home Accountability group which you may find helpful. It is mixed-faith so we don't focus on Christian principles per se, but having others to share our struggles with can be helpful.